Northern Ireland

NI economic output similar to Valencia, EU figures suggest

Valencia Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Northern Ireland's economic output per person is comparable to that of Valencia in Spain, EU figures suggest

Northern Ireland's economic output per person is similar to that achieved in the Valencia region of Spain, according to official EU figures.

The figures from the Eurostat agency can be used to compare the degree of economic development across EU regions.

Eurostat adjusts for price differences between countries in an attempt to produce comparable figures.

It suggests that GDP per person in Northern Ireland was 81% of the EU average in 2017.

The Valencia region, and Bourgogne in France, also had output per person at 81% of the EU average.

The region with the highest GDP per person was Inner London West, at 626% of the EU average.

Figures distorted by commuter inflows

It contains the City of London financial district and the figure will also be boosted by commuters.

Eurostat says commuter inflows to some regions "push up production to a level that could not be achieved by the resident active population on its own".

The southern region of Ireland had the third highest output per person at 220% of the EU average.

The Irish figures will be distorted by the well-known issues with GDP measurement in the country.

Multinationals use Ireland as a centre for financing, taxation and intellectual property operations.

Theses operations involve flows of billions of dollars, which are captured by GDP measurement, but have little impact on the real economy.

The largest city in the southern region, Cork, is a base for the Apple corporation.

The areas with the lowest GDP per person, 31% of EU average, are two regions of northern Bulgaria.

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